Qatar’s first MERS patient in a year dies

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome virus particles attached to the surface of an infected VERO E6 cell.

NIAID/Flickr

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of MERS virus particles attached to the surface of an infected VERO E6 cell.

A 66-year-old Qatari man who was diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) last month has died from complications related to the illness, QNA reports.

The man suffered from several chronic diseases and is Qatar’s first recorded case of the virus since May 2015. He was admitted into the hospital with fever and cough after returning from a “neighboring country,” the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) previously said.

MERS is a viral respiratory illness, and can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms include fever, coughing, a sore throat and in some cases, diarrhea.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Supplied

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s last recorded cases were in May 2015 and involved a 29-year-old male expat who worked on a camel farm and a 73-year-old Qatari.

So far, six of the 15 people from Qatar who contracted the virus in the past few years have died.

Advice

In light of this week’s death, the public health ministry said in a statement today:

“MOPH announces that all public and private healthcare facilities (should) remain on alert to identify and immediately report any suspected case to the rapid response team working 24/7 to answer queries regarding communicable diseases through the hotline numbers 66740948 or 66740951.”

It also advised people with chronic diseases or low immunity to follow World Health Organization guidelines and avoid any close contact with camels.

People should also monitor themselves for fever and respiratory illness, in addition washing their hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coming into contact with farm animals and camels.

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